The 2010s gave us incredible video games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls, The Witcher 3, Undertale, and Destiny 2. But what games were the best? What does “best” even mean? Is it the game’s influence and impact on the industry, how well it sold, or something else?
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjpq8v/these-are-the-best-video-games-of-the-past-decade
For easy reference, the top 10:
Top 10 games of the 2010s
- Dark Souls
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Red Dead Redemption 2
- God of War
- The Last of Us
- Outer Wilds
- Marvel’s Spider-Man
- Stardew Valley
- The Witcher 3
I’m glad Austin brought up RDR2’s crunch in the roundtable, because it seemed during the countdown like the issue was being talked around with euphemisms about what an impressive accomplishment that game is.
I don’t see Horizon Zero Dawn or Crosscode anywhere so doesn’t count.
[posted sight unseen]
Kentucky! Route! Zero! Best game of seven years of the decade.
Collaborative rankings are always a compromise, and by nature they prioritize popular things. This list, being made for wide-audience TV, was never going to be something a nerd like me would agree with. It’s wonderful that Outer Wilds made it on. But even so, yes, KRZ.
The game of the decade is, of course, Fantasy Life. I shall assume that is the number one spot and will simply stop listening after they choose their second place spot.
The perils of being a game that released at the start of the decade, yeah.
(extreme low effort joke) No Knack?
Plus Skyrim also seems like exactly the kind of game that the Waypoint staff would vivisect for the sort of Disney Park design decisions that game (and Bethesda games more broadly) makes around how it presents the world and its events to you.
I went through this experiment early last year for a personal list. Interestingly my #1 was the same, and the rest of these weren’t on my list.
Dark Souls is kinda inarguable no matter what metric you build a list like this around. Fortnite and/or PUBG will probably pass it eventually if you go purely by “influence”, but Dark Souls spent 99% of the decade being imitated.
Conversely… I don’t think my equivalent list would have any of these games on it (from the Top 10).
I’m even going to agree with the people shocked that KRZ didn’t make it, despite being more ambivalent about it than some - it’s definitely a more interesting and experimental game than most of the entries on the list here [and when it works, it’s better than any of them, it just doesn’t work consistently].
I’ve played seven of the ten (never played any of the three PS exclusives) and only enjoyed two of them (Stardew and Overwatch) so wow do I feel out of touch.
It’s a little disappointing that console-based, character action crowds out that list while beloved, massive impact games are left out. I’m thinking stuff like Gone Home, Her Story, XCOM 2, Shovel Knight, or even Jackbox Party Pack. It’s surprising that a list that Waypoint helped to curate came out so conventional.
Anyway, the fact that Mass Effect 2 isn’t on there is twinging that part of my gamer heart that can’t help but want to argue about internet lists.
EDIT: From the pod it seems that the list was done by a games writers vote, which explains the blandness. Glad to hear the crew voice dissent on some of these picks.
I never even thought about it that way but honestly, like drawful 2 or something should absolutely be in these conversations.
It’s weird to me that talking about conventions and defining the conversation got dark souls in but wasn’t enough for Doom (2016) to make the list.
Good to see Outer Wilds on there. That, Breath of the Wild and Dark Souls (If we crunch 2009 demon souls in there too, I guess, even though it really kicked off with Dark Souls) are the only ones on the list that I would consider something special, in the sense that they are really something different (sometimes without really doing all that much different on paper like BotW and Dark Souls) instead of being “just” a very good, very meaty and spectacularly polished (by using spectacularly bad labour conditions, as was pointed out in regards to RDR2) example of the formula that already existed. This isn’t really a value judgement, but I consider this an explanation for why these games hold a special place in my heart. My god, Outer Wilds especially. I will probably never forget that experience
Metal Gear Solid V gave us the ‘punished’ meme for whenever you get suspended on twitter for owning MAGA chuds, and is also mechanically and systemically perfect.
If we’re talking systemic open world games from the past decade, I’d take it, Dying Light, and Dragon’s Dogma over BOTW but that’s a taste thing.
Holy s*it, I can’t believe I forgot Dragon’s Dogma. Maybe because it’s been so long and nothing similar (at least that I’ve played) came out. Yeah, I definitely would include it, but at the same time it seems to have left less of a “magical impression”, for lack of a better term, on me than it should have. I loved it as much as Dark Souls.
I have never played Dying Light. I don’t know why, because the parkour and combat mechanics really appeal to me. Maybe I was never in the right mood for zombies, idk. At the latest, the release of the sequel (whenever that’s going to be) will probably reinvigorate my desire to play it.
I’ve played quite a bit of MGSV, but no matter how often I came back and tried it again, I never really got into it. Something just didn’t click. I think it’s definitely a taste thing.
The first 5-10 hours of Dying Light, where you get to grips with the implications of the day/night cycle and slow start to figure out how to manage the omnipresent zombie threat while trying to accomplish other tasks, are incredible.
Apparently the development of Dying Light 2 is an absolute shit show right now, so if you have the free time I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot. It’s a fascinatingly compromised product and I wish more games stole a lot of its ideas wholesale.